Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Iraq ‘not comfortable’ after Turkey OKs military incursion

After Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday gave its military the green light to hunt members of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari expressed concern over the prospect of an incursion, Reuters reported Thursday.

“If something happens it is possibly going to be air strikes on some suspected PKK positions,” Zebari said on Thursday. “But to talk about a major military offensive and major cross-border incursion, that I do not expect.”

The article says that Washington and other allies caution that an incursion into northern Iraq “would bring chaos to the region, threaten oil supplies and harm U.S. attempts to quell relentless violence in the country.”

Zebari added: “Our formal request is that they leave Iraqi soil and leave Iraq for its people and do not bring us more problems than we’re already suffering.” He also said that the PKK should leave “as soon as possible.”

This was the first public call made by Zebari, who is a Kurd, for the PKK to leave Iraq.

“(Turkey has) a problem, we are ready to discuss it, talk about it and fulfill our commitments,” Zebari said. “But the starting point should be sitting at the dialogue table to agree on mechanisms.”

Thousands of people in several northern Iraqi towns took the streets Thursday to protest against the Turkish vote, carrying banners with slogans and calling for peaceful dialogue with their northern neighbor to end the crisis.

For the full article, click here.

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